Three things have made me sigh and roll my eyes in the last two hours.
One, a friend whinging about gaining weight (while eating a slice of chocolate brownie). A second still hasn’t applied for a brilliant job even though I wrote her application for her two weeks ago (while she complained about her boss. He is a jerk, but that’s beside the point). The third was someone who stood up and walked away from the park, leaving their rubbish alongside the imprint of their bum in the grass. (The abandoned crisps packet and takeaway cup were the offenders, not the bum print, just to be clear.)
I laughed with the two friends, and resisted temptation to shout after the littering stranger. But the combination of all three did get me thinking, ‘Can we all take a bit of ownership?’
To friend 1: Put down the cake – even if you can’t be bothered/don’t have the time to go to the gym. You can only help yourself with this, I can’t be your mouth monitor.
To friend 2: I love you and I will listen to stories about your vile boss every time we meet for a catch up. I will write your CV and prep you with pre-interview confidence. But after that…
To stranger: pick up your blummin’ rubbish.
Now, I don’t want to sound all Oprah, but I’m a great believer in what some people call ‘cleaning your own house.’ I don’t mean I’m a clean-freak who comes home from work and gets the mop and duster out. But at the end of each day, I take a few minutes to run through the day in my head and balance my mental check book. Did I make someone smile? Did I achieve what I wanted to? Sometimes, that’s as simple as sending an email to a friend who lives overseas, with pictures, and some funny tales. Sometimes, it’s taking the rubbish to the bin – take note, stranger from the park.
Did I show some self-restraint and put down the chocolate bar after two pieces? No, but I did after six and maybe that’s ok today because I walked home from work. Tomorrow, I’ll have none. Or maybe just one.
I try to keep my side of the street clean. Call it mental Feng-Shui if you like. I’m not a saint by any stretch, but I try not to let things fester, gather mould and go off.
I check myself. Did I lose my patience too quickly? Do I owe an apology? In the whirlwind of the day I sometimes know I haven’t handled something perfectly and maybe, when the dust has settled, it warrants revisiting to clear the air to go forward more productively. You see, cleaning your house is everywhere!